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According to the company, 143 million US consumers' personal information was compromised, and many Americans are understandably upset by this news. This prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from your credit report without written authorization and makes it harder for an identity thief to access credit in your name. If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact the financial institution right away to report it and have replacement cards issued. It keeps scammers from opening new credit in your name. It also said there was no evidence that the breach involved its "core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases". "Put a special requirement, they must say this info to accept my account", Haba said.

The company and its competitors, TransUnion and Experian, gauge how much of a risk people are for borrowing money. You can also temporarily lift that freeze if a credit report is needed.

Simply, they prevent creditors from getting access to your credit report. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Thursday that Equifax executives should testify before the Senate. "So I thought "well I'll do my son's".

Review your bank statements, credit card statements, and other account statements for suspicious charges: Contact the bank or credit card company immediately if you see charges you don't recognize. "Please try back later". If so, you can then activate the Equifax security measures. We recommend such monitoring as good operations practice for business critical Web-based services.

Tip #2: Run your credit report.

But it would be helpful to have in place for the time being. Make sure that you are signing up for the free service and not Equifax's paid service by mistake.

One potential alternative to a credit freeze is an initial fraud alert. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job.

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) says it was partnered with Equifax on the auto organization's identity protection program. You just need to enter your last name and last six numbers of your social security number. "Even in the best run organizations, there is often a gap of many months between vulnerability disclosure and updates being made to applications", Williams wrote. Don't tell them anything. Within two weeks, you will receive a letter with a unique PIN to unlock and relock your credit, he said. I'll believe it when I see it.